German Office Real Estate After COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis in Germany raises the question of whether, ultimately, an active ubiquitous transition to a remote location will reduce the demand for office space. In this case, the price of office space will begin to decline, but, given the investment status of Germany in the world, the investment in German office real estate is unlikely to cease to be relevant.
The longer the crisis lasts, the more people will get used to remote employment and the more effective this format can become. However, specific companies and its employees experience this format of work in completely different ways. Much depends on how well the team worked together before the crisis. Recruiting new employees and new teams of remote workers can be challenging. Work at home may become more common, as the current crisis is accelerating the digitalization of work processes, even in those sectors where work at home was previously rare.
In Germany, the proportion of remote workers is slightly lower than the EU average and has remained very stable over the past 30 years. In addition, it is approximately the same for all age groups, as well as for men and women. Approximately 12% of all employees sometimes or regularly work at home. The EU average is around 14%. This percentage is higher in most neighboring countries, especially in the Netherlands (36%).
In general, the number of remote workers in Germany seems to be gradually increasing, but only by a few tenths of a percentage point per year, according to analysts. Therefore, from this point of view, one should not be afraid of serious consequences regarding the demand for office space in Germany. Moreover, there is an interesting opinion that “social distance” can even temporarily increase the average area of a room per employee, currently it is about 23 square meters.